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[Susan notes: Interesting how the media chooses to ignore some research. Good for Stephen Krashen for calling them on it.]

Submitted to Boston Globe but not published
01/10/2006

To the editor

As noted by the Globe, Question 2, the law passed in

2002 that dismantled bilingual education in

Massachusetts, “expects most students to spend one

year in immersion classes and then be mainstreamed”

(“Immersion therapy,” Jan. 10). The Globe editorial

is the first media statement I have read acknowledging

that this expectation has not been fulfilled. An

analysis from the Massachusetts Department of

Education shows that fewer than ten percent of English

learners who scored “non-proficient” in English in

2004 had acquired enough English a year later to be

considered for mainstreaming, a result similar to that

seen in other states that passed similar initiatives.



The Globe feels that “it is too early to tell whether

children are learning better” without bilingual

education. Not at all. Nearly every reviewer of the

research in bilingual education has concluded that

English learners in bilingual education programs

typically acquire English faster than those in

all-English programs. In the last year three major

studies appeared in scientific journals confirming

this, but we have known about the effectiveness of

bilingual education for years. This information was

ignored in the Question 2 campaign, to the detriment

of thousands of children.

Stephen Krashen, Exec. Board, NABE


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